un·even | \ˌən-ˈē-vən \

Definition of uneven 

1a archaic : unequal sense 1a

b : odd sense 3a

2a : not even : not level or smooth : rugged, ragged large uneven teeth uneven handwriting

b : varying from the straight or parallel

c : not uniform : irregular uneven combustion

d : varying in quality an uneven performance

3 : unequal sense 3a an uneven confrontation

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from uneven

unevenly adverb
unevenness \ˌən-ˈē-və(n)-nəs \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for uneven

rough, harsh, uneven, rugged, scabrous mean not smooth or even. rough implies points, bristles, ridges, or projections on the surface. a rough wooden board harsh implies a surface or texture distinctly unpleasant to the touch. a harsh fabric that chafes the skin uneven implies a lack of uniformity in height, breadth, or quality. an old house with uneven floors rugged implies irregularity or roughness of land surface and connotes difficulty of travel. a rugged landscape scabrous implies scaliness or prickliness of surface. a scabrous leaf

Examples of uneven in a Sentence

His breathing was shallow and uneven. You should check your car's tires often for signs of uneven wear. an uneven distribution of wealth We have an uneven number of players, so we'll have to rotate.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The offensive performances largely have been uneven during summer league, with much of the scoring coming from the free-throw line against foul-prone opponents lacking the ability to defend at the NBA level without fouling. Ira Winderman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Bam Adebayo leaving Heat with both questions, answers in summer league," 12 July 2018 Alas, progress has been slower than politicians promised and is uneven. The Economist, "AMLO, Mexico’s answer to Donald Trump," 23 June 2018 Theoretically, sure—but in reality, everything from uneven terrain to tight hip flexors can throw you off your game (and, as a result, your...trajectory). Gray Chapman, SELF, "7 Tips for Mastering the Art of Peeing Outside," 8 June 2018 The rest are hauled to the lot's uneven terrain for various reasons such as for traffic or parking violations. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville is littered with abandoned cars, and residents aren't happy," 7 June 2018 Sure, Mean Girls is uneven: Jeff Richmond’s score, while largely catchy, is unremarkable, and some of Nell Benjamin’s lyrics are downright bad. Constance Grady, Vox, "Your guide to the 17 most important nominees at this year’s Tonys," 7 June 2018 Today’s Video Remote Drivers Even the best driverless cars today have problems with tough conditions, such as uneven terrain or difficult weather. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "The 10-Point.," 6 June 2018 Since then, there have been a series of uneven performances, including Saturday's 4-of-12 shooting at Thomas & Mack Center. Ira Winderman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Rashad Vaughn career at a crossroad, as Heat summer play comes to an end," 15 July 2018 Despite the uneven playing field, Turkey’s opposition parties—often criticized for being divided and weak—have energized the country with serious and well-organized campaigns. Time, "Turkey's Elections May Be Imperfect But They Still Matter," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'uneven.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of uneven

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about uneven

Phrases Related to uneven

uneven bars

uneven parallel bars

Statistics for uneven

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for uneven

The first known use of uneven was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for uneven



English Language Learners Definition of uneven

: not level, flat, or smooth

: not straight or parallel

: not following a regular pattern : not the same in all parts or at all times


un·even | \ˌən-ˈē-vən \

Kids Definition of uneven

1 : odd sense 3 uneven numbers

2 : not level, straight, or smooth an uneven surface

3 : irregular sense 4 uneven breathing

4 : varying in quality an uneven performance

5 : unequal sense 2 an uneven competition

Other Words from uneven

unevenly adverb The board was cut unevenly.
unevenness noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on uneven

What made you want to look up uneven? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!